Letter to the Editor: Keep GW inside lines

You are correct on one of two counts in your editorial on the Board of Zoning Adjustment’s conditional approval of the GW campus plan (“Rethink restrictions,” Feb. 15). The BZA was acting imprudently in restricting the University’s ability to build new academic space. But you misunderstand the entire purpose of the campus plan process when you call for the Hall on Virginia Avenue and Aston Hall to be counted as “on-campus” housing.

The law expects a university, at a minimum, to focus its development on the land within the defined boundaries of the campus. Neither HOVA nor Aston Hall are within GW’s legal boundaries. GW was certainly aware of that when they purchased both facilities. For the BZA to permit the buildings to be called “on-campus” would send GW a message that they can ignore their boundaries and purchase surrounding residential housing, convert them into residence halls and claim they met the 70 percent threshold for “on-campus” housing. This is precisely what the campus plan is supposed to avoid – using expansion as an excuse to incorporate residential areas without restriction.

-Heather Baker
Foggy Bottom resident

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